Ramadan Quick Facts - IN

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2024 Date10 March 2024
2025 Date1 March 2025

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Ramadan History

Ramadan is the holiest month in the Islamic calendar. This Holiday highlights the practice of fasting, prayer, reflection, and community. This spiritual observance's primary purpose is to promote self-discipline, self-reflection, and empathy for those less fortunate. Different aspects of Ramadan include fasting from dawn to dusk, engaging in increased prayer and recitation of the Quran, giving to charity, and striving to purify one's character.

The observance of Ramadan is deeply rooted in Islamic tradition, observed since the time of Prophet Mohammad. This sacred month holds significant importance for Muslims in India, which is home to one of the world's largest Muslim populations. Here, Ramadan takes on a unique flavour influenced by India's diverse cultures, languages, and traditions. It becomes a remarkable time of heightened piety, intense devotion and celebratory meals that foster a sense of community. The Sehri (pre-dawn meal) and Iftar (meal to break the fast) are characteristic of Ramadan celebrations in India, where regional cuisine adds a gastronomic dimension to the holy month.

Ramadan in India is marked by a flurry of activities. Community-centric 'Iftar parties' are a common sight, where people of different faiths come together to break the fast, promoting communal harmony. Nightly Taraweeh prayers are conducted in mosques throughout the country. Indian towns and cities glow with festive lights, and stalls selling dates and delicacies spring up as sundown nears. Ramadan concludes with the festive celebration of Eid-ul-Fitr, a day of gratitude and joy. Since the Islamic calendar is lunar-based, the occurrence of Ramadan varies from year to year. In India, it usually lands between April and June and is eagerly awaited by the Muslim community.

Facts & quotes about Ramadan

  • According to Islamic tradition, menstruating women, women who are experiencing bleeding after giving birth, people who are sick (either with short term or long term illnesses), and travelers are exempt from fasting. Pregnant women also have the option of skipping fasts.
  • According to Sunnah belief, the Prophet Muhammad once said, There is no conceit in fasting.
  • O who believe, fasting is decreed for you as it was decreed for those before you; perchance you will guard yourselves (Quran, 2:183)
  • Special prayers, Tarawih, are held at mosques in the evening after the Iftar meal during Ramadan.
  • During Ramadan, many Indian cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, and Hyderabad, come alive with colorful night markets. Known as "Ramadan Bazaars", these markets stay open throughout the night selling food, clothes, jewelry, etc.

Top things to do in India for Ramadan

  • The fast is usually broken in a family setting, where traditional foods are served. Most Muslims begin their meal with a few dates and a glass of milk because the Prophet Muhammad used to do the same. The high sugar content of the dates sends energy to weary fasting Muslim, while the fiber in the dates and the protein in the milk fills them up and prevents nausea.
  • During Ramadan, Muslims congregate every night in the mosque to pray Taraweeh prayers in congregation. In the United States, in between sets of prayers, the Imam gives a brief sermon and encourages people to give to charity.
  • Participate in Lucknow's Ramadan celebrations: Lucknow is known for its rich culture, and during Ramadan, it’s decorated beautifully. The city's famed Awadhi cuisine can be enjoyed at various Iftar parties.
  • Read a book to learn more about Ramadan in India:
    Celebrating Ramadan - by Diane Hoyt-Goldsmith - Though not India-specific, this book provides a comprehensive understanding of Ramadan that can be applied to its observance in all countries.
    Fasting, Feasting - by Anita Desai - A novel by renowned Indian author Anita Desai that provides a deep cultural insight into Indian Muslim Life.
    Islamic Hindu And Christian Fundamentalism Compared: Public Policy In India - by T.K. Oommen - This book highlights the religious practices of the three major religions including Ramadan.

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